Before I started my professional nursing career, I was scared of many things. Two major things pre-nurses are often scared of, me included, are:
1) The thought of phoning the on-call hospitalist at 2am to ask for something, especially something like Benadryl or a stool softener.
2) Very unruly patients.
Turns out--not so much.
Now that I've been working nights for a few months, I've pretty well gotten over my fear of #1--at least, depending on which doctor is on-call. Some are nicer about it than others, but none are allowed to be nasty to the nurses because we called--too many HR meetings about that. I mean, it is their job and all.
As for the second, well, I got a little more experience in that then I'd wished this Labor Day weekend. My patients included a state prisoner and a woman almost 100 years old. Which one was meaner? Good question. One of them tried to bite me on four different occasions. One accused me of "putting dope" in her IV. One tried to kick me in the head--twice.
Turns out, there's a Big Bad Bitch Nurse (TM) living inside me. That nursing student never would have thought I could go head-to-head with someone in handcuffs and come out victorious--then get teased by my coworkers for the rest of the night that I should be a prison guard. The nicely-raised Southern girl never would have thought I'd shout at a centenarian for "being ugly."
Did I enjoy any of this? Absolutely not.
Am I proud of myself for authoritatively handling two difficult situations without letting anyone get hurt, protecting the hospital, and making the best decisions for the patients? Absolutely.
If anyone needs me, I'll be over here, practicing my sleeper holds...